During the month of October, which was National Energy Month, General Motors realized a savings of $435 million over twenty years. Manufacturing plants, which make up about 75 percent of GM’s energy consumption, are using less energy despite increased production thanks to the reduction of energy intensity by 40 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 41 percent, as part of GM’s 20-year partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program.
“With ENERGY STAR tools and resources, we’re continuing to find ways to reduce the energy at our facilities both new and old,” said Al Hildreth, GM’s global energy manager. “The organization provides a unique networking of corporate partners and government agencies who share best practices. Together we collaborate and find ways to mitigate climate change.”
All GM plants participate in ENERGY STAR’s Challenge for Industry program to find ways to use less energy and emit less carbon. Ten plants met the Challenge in 2015; three of which were first-time achievers – Baltimore Operations, Rochester Operations, and Spring Hill Assembly. The Spring Hill Assembly plant managed to reduce energy intensity by 33 percent in just two years, making it the biggest energy saver out of the 2015 achievers. Ironically the Baltimore Operations plant produces the powertrain for the Spark EV.
Moving forward, GM is now making its non-manufacturing facilities a focus in a new energy reduction campaign, “Bring Your Green to Work.” This campaign aims to educate employees about ways to save energy in the office.
The General is committed to reducing the energy and carbon intensity of its facilities by 20 percent by 2020 over a 2010 baseline. GM has reduced both by 11 percent between 2010 and 2014 and is on track to meet its goal.
Being energy efficient while producing energy efficient vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt shows there’s more to being green than just the product a facility builds.